It has been awhile since my last blog post. Since my world has been filled with photoshoots, what better way to start blogging again with a topic that I hold dear to my heart, shooting as a freelance model. Being a freelance model, I am not exaggerating when I say that the struggle is real. Finding jobs or gigs solely falls upon your own shoulders. Now I can go into various topics on being a freelance model, but this weeks post I want to touch heavily on something that I was inspired by, a model´s bill of rights. Yes, you read that correctly, models have rights as well. This blog post was inspired not only on my personal experiences, other model experiences, but by a photographer located in the Bay Area of California name David Enrique. He heard and seen the horror stories that everyone knows that exists but is afraid to acknowledge. I have experienced, I have heard stories, and I have seen incidents were models are often uncomfortable, put into situations that are sketchy, and just models being taken advantage of. Instead of not acknowledging the problem, models like myself and photographers like David Enrique, decided to take a stand.
David Enrique created a document that listed the rights of models that have been blatantly ignored by many. He named this document ¨Model´s Bill of Rights¨ or ¨MBR¨ for short. This document could be used by freelance models as a layer of protection or even by photographers that want to reassure models of their protection. This document is a way of open communication between the model and the photographer that can be given to the photographer before a shoot. There are many photographers that cross boundaries, and this document gives the photographer and model a clear understanding of what boundaries will not be crossed.
Ultimately, the MBR does something that is not really seen in the freelance model world; it holds photographers accountable for their actions. Without the protection of an agency, a freelance model is vulnerable to scammers, sexual abuse and misconduct. A freelance model in essence is their own agent, manager, and the responsibility of finding a safe environment to work in is left to the model. It is time for the misconduct to stop. Modeling and photography is an art, and those who choose to abuse the art is giving the industry a bad look.
If you are a model, I have included the MBR in the link below. It can be found on David Enrique´s website where you will also find instructions on editing it. Kudos to this photographer for looking out for us freelance model!
Until next time!